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Bills decline to match Patriots' offer for Mike Gillislee

The New England Patriots officially poached another restricted free agent from AFC East rival Buffalo Bills.

The Bills declined to match the two-year, $6.4 million offer sheet for running back Mike Gillislee, the team announced Monday. New England will send a fifth-round draft pick to Buffalo as compensation for the restricted free agent.

The move comes a year after the Patriots swiped receiver Chris Hogan to a three-year, $12 million offer sheet the Bills also did not match.

Gillislee heads to New England joining a host of backfield mates in James White, Dion Lewis and newly added Swiss-Army-Knife-back Rex Burkhead.

In a full-time backup role to LeSean McCoy, Gillislee was uber-efficient last season, earning 5.7 yards per carry and eight touchdowns on 101 totes. The 26-year-old flashed speed and elusiveness on the edge, along with a willingness and ability to pound the ball between the tackles despite being listed at 219 pounds.

It shouldn't be viewed as a coincidence this offseason that the Patriots added the two most efficient running backs in the NFL in Gillislee and Burkhead, according to Football Outsiders metrics.

The addition of Gillislee could slam the door closed on a return for power back LeGarrette Blount in Foxborough.

For the Bills, losing another promising player to the Patriots, after utilizing what many believed was a too-low tender, will go down as another strike against general manager Doug Whaley among frustrated Buffalo fans.

The Bills have second-year runner Jonathan Williams behind McCoy and could add another tailback this weekend in a draft deep at the position. They also signed former Carolina Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert this offseason.

Watch the NFL Draft LIVE on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on NFL Network

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